Archive for February, 2014

Give a child a computer….

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

and they can learn how to operate it themselves, and learn from it!

If you’ve ever seen a young child with an iPad (*casting my mind back to my two year old son this morning*) you may have seen the incredible way that he or she works out exactly what to press in order to move the character or play the video onscreen.

The great way that tablets, and smart phones to a lesser extent, lend themselves to young, independent users, is of course the non-requirement for keyboard or mouse skills, and designers of preschool Apps do generally not use display many words when creating a visually appealing game.

Today, I have been reading about the ‘Hole in the Wall’ programme and ‘minimally invasive education’, which was tested by Professor Mitra in 1999, in Delhi.

Minimally Invasive Education in school professes there are many reasons why children may have difficulty learning, especially when the learning is imposed and the subject is something the student is not interested in, a frequent occurrence in modern schools. Schools also label children as “learning disabled” and place them in special education even if the child does not have a learning disability, because the schools have failed to teach the children basic skills. Minimally Invasive Education in school asserts there are many ways to study and learn. It argues that learning is a process you do, not a process that is done to you.

On 26 January 1999, Professor Mitra’s team carved a “hole in the wall” that separated the NIIT premises from the adjoining slum in Kalkaji, New Delhi. Through this hole, a freely accessible computer was put up for use. This computer proved to be popular among the slum children. With no prior experience, the children learned to use the computer on their own. This prompted Mitra to propose the following hypothesis:The acquisition of basic computing skills by any set of children can be achieved through incidental learning provided the learners are given access to a suitable computing facility, with entertaining and motivating content and some minimal (human) guidance’.

Incredible to think that 15 years ago, Mitra was exploring the affect of independent computer technology on learning. I wonder what he would make of the integration of mobile devices into our society, and whether he would agree that young users having access to tablets is a great benefit for their education and development?


Spreading the word!

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

Spreading the word!

Exciting news- I have been asked to speak at the ELC (East London Consortium) about Digital Leaders in schools! The ELC is a consortium of six girls’ schools in London (both from the independent and maintained sector) which promotes exchange of good practice and opportunity for curriculum enrichment across the schools.
The seminar is to be held at the end of March, and I am currently in negotiation with my school’s management to let me ask parental permission to take my four Year 6 Digital Leaders along too! This consortium will be a great opportunity for me- and hopefully my DLs- to spread the word about DLs in schools and hopefully encourage those ELC schools that are not already employing this initiative to do so!!

And the winner is……

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

And the winner is......

Well here is our new Digital leader logo!!!
After holding the DL competition, and receiving many entries (which really helped raise the profile of DLs at our school!) we found a winning entry, which my Year 6 Digital leaders then converted from a hand drawn image to a computer-generated one! I particularly love that the pupil who designed it thought about how we use predominantly Apple products, and fit the letters to fit the apple shape, using our school colours.
We have already put this logo up on our wiki and DL newsletter, and I am even working on creating a special part on the school website to show off our new logo! Would be very interested to hear how any of you are getting on with DLs at your place of work 🙂